The Paths Of Knowledge, Devotion and Works Join In the Integral Yoga
Posted on August 18, 2015
Historically, individual seekers have been drawn to one or another of the paths of yoga, primarily based on their own inner predilections, readiness and openness, which brought about an introduction to and opportunity to take up the practice of one of the paths. Each of the paths had its own focus, practices, and end results for the sincere seeker.
The Key Role of the Supramental Consciousness In the Integral Yoga
Posted on August 19, 2015
Sri Aurobindo has identified a status of consciousness that mediates between the upper hemisphere of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, and the lower hemisphere of Body-Life-Mind. The characteristics of the upper hemisphere are pure existence, absolute knowledge and power, and unadulterated bliss. It is absolute, eternal, and infinite. The characteristics of the lower hemisphere are fragmentation and limitation, division and the consequent ignorance, weakness and suffering. The upper is the ultimate cause and substance from which the lower is created. Between the two there is the level of consciousness which Sri Aurobindo terms the “supramental” consciousness. While maintaining the characteristics of a Truth-Consciousness, this mediating level is able to take the “undivided” and parcel it out into individual forms, beings and powers. It acts something like a step-down transformer which takes the energy generated from a major electricity generator and cuts it back to a level that the individual transmitting wires and the receiving stations can handle and utilize without burning up from the pure, unadulterated energy.
Whatever specific steps a yogic process takes in the seeker, whether through the path of knowledge, devotion or works, the initial goal is to make a conscious connection with the Divine. In the integral Yoga there is the additional aspect of both accepting the manifestation as the omnipresent reality of the Divine and becoming an instrument of its evolutionary transformation from a state of ignorance, fragmentation and limitation to a state of knowledge, power and Oneness.
It is the attainment of this level of consciousness that represents the key to the integral Yoga:
Posted on August 20, 2015
There is a danger which arises when the vital ego of man tries to associate itself with any great ideal or progress, as is represented by the ascent to the supramental level of consciousness. This danger can lead to pride, arrogance and the feeling of superiority that can look down on others and other paths, and which may lead to complacency in the effort. As we see from the history of humanity, the appeal of attaining new and greater powers, new and greater knowledge, some form of “supermanhood” is something that is quite attractive to the ego-personality. Sri Aurobindo reminds us that the attainment of the supermind is not the goal but a means towards a divine realisation and action.
It is therefore essential to remain focused on the true goal of the yoga, for which the ascent to the supramental level is a means, not the end itself:
Attainment of the Supramental Consciousness Is Not the Immediate Goal of the Integral Yoga - Posted on August 21, 2015
If the seeker reflects on the actual operation of his body-life-mind and ego-personality, he will see the many present issues, concerns, limitations and difficulties that need to be systematically worked on and overcome in order to move the consciousness beyond the level at which human beings tend to operate.
This transformation must continually proceed to the deepest levels of the being and the well-spring of unconscious and subconscious habitual actions and motives that drive most of the life-action. Sri Aurobindo calls for the psychic transformation that opens up all the inner motive-forces of the life and turns them toward the Divine. Thereafter comes the descent and action of the higher Light and Force to spiritualise and refine the action by removing the boundaries set by the ego-consciousness.
All of this takes time, and even the concentrated effort of a life dedicated to yogic practice does not eliminate this time requirement:
Sri Aurobindo cautions strongly against the attempt to “storm the gates”, so to speak.
These warnings underline the need for patience, balance and steady effort and the understanding of the enormous changes required and the time needed to carry them out in the nature. That is why Sri Aurobindo indicates that the seeker should not fixate on achieving the supermind as the immediate focus or goal.
The systematic studies on this blog have also been published as self-standing books by Lotus Press and are available in both printed formats and as e-books. There are 3 volumes encompassing Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s The Life Divineas well as 1 volume for Readings in The Mother by Sri Aurobindo, and Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s Rebirth and Karma. Both volumes of Readings in Sri Aurobindo’s Essays on the Gita have now been published as well.